Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • Maggie Crisler
    Participant
    @maggiecrisler
    8 years, 7 months ago

    Hello!

    I’m fairly new to letterpress. I have a little experience from my printmaking classes in college and have attended a few workshops and the demos at the LOLP Conference back in August. I bought a Kelsey 6×10 tabletop press that had been restored all except for the saddle springs that I actually still need to replace. If anyone knows where I can find them, I would greatly appreciate it…the girl I bought the press from sent me a link, but every time I’ve checked the website, it says they’re out of stock. So that’s problem #1.

    Problem #2 – every few prints, my rollers shift to the left. The notches in the trucks don’t stay where they’re supposed to on the bars in the rollers. I don’t know if this is a problem with the spring tension (since I need to replace them anyways) or if there’s something else wrong.

    Problem #3 – (and I realize, some of this problem may be that the plate is not getting inked properly), I can’t get a solid print on what I’m trying to print right now. I’ve adjusted everything I know how to adjust and I can’t get it to print right. I don’t know if it’s a problem with how the plate is being inked, the pressure of the platen, or possibly what I’m printing on. I’m trying to print CD cases and think that the fact that it’s not a flat piece of paper/card stock may have something to do with it…I’ve tried putting something in the actual case to see if it would help any, and it didn’t really (which I was somewhat thankful for since I have about 300 cases to print…I definitely didn’t want to have to put padding in each of them!).

    As I said, I have some printmaking experience from college, but I’d never used a platen press until I attended a workshop a few months ago. Any and all advice/tips would be so appreciated!


    Camille Robin
    Participant
    @camillerobin
    8 years, 7 months ago

         Your local hardware store should have springs, you may need to cut them to the proper length. Buy some washers to put on the ends of your rollers so they don’t shift. Bring a spring, shaft and roller with you to the store. 

         You will have a hard time getting a good solid impression unless you put something in your CD cases. Cut some chipboard to size and glue them together for the correct thickness, then insert it into the case. Yes, it will be time consuming. It would be easier if they were not already converted.

      


    Maggie Crisler
    Participant
    @maggiecrisler
    8 years, 7 months ago

    Thank you for the advice! I’d thought about going to the hardware store, but wasn’t sure if there was a very specific type of spring I needed or if something from there would work. I’ll definitely try that tomorrow.


    kelly mcmahon
    Participant
    @kellymcmahon
    8 years, 7 months ago

    Maggie,

    In your second pic, it looks like your right side gripper is in front of your base–make sure that it’s totally out of the way, or your press won’t close properly (and it would look like improper inking, even though it’s an impression issue).

    And I wholeheartedly second Camille–go down and get friendly with your local mom-and-pop hardware store.

    Kelly


    Maggie Crisler
    Participant
    @maggiecrisler
    8 years, 7 months ago

    Thank you!

    I’ve been having trouble with the grippers…the gripper bar spring was stuck, but I finally got it loose and was able to fix it. I’ve been trying to loosen the screws that hold the grippers to the bar so I can , but they’re quite stuck as well. I just took the rollers & springs off so I can head to the hardware store. I know I need to buy some sort of oil as well.

    I also just took my press apart and can tell that the rails (that may not be the proper term) that the trucks roll on are lower than the surface of my plate, so I’ll be taping those. I just ordered a roller gauge yesterday, but I haven’t received it yet…so I’m sure that has something to do with it, too.

    I’m learning/figuring out all of these things as I go. I’ve read all about how to do this, but it really doesn’t sink in with me until I just dive into it. Trial and error is the best way for me to learn, I just want to make sure I don’t damage my press or base doing so this way…especially since I can tell that someone let gauge pins slam into the base at one point or another…the surface of it is damaged in 2 areas.

    Thank you again for your response!


    Camille Robin
    Participant
    @camillerobin
    8 years, 7 months ago

    Good eye Kelly, on the gripper catch. Springs should only be a couple of dollars. You might have to try a couple different ones until you find the right tension. I use 30W non detergent motor oil on my presses. Any gas station will have it. A quart would last you a very long time. You will need an oil can to put it in. The hardware store will also have some liquid wrench (or similar) to help loosen the stuck screws. It could be old dried ink. I firmly believe you should oil your press before each use. Please post some more pictures and let us know how you are doing.

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